glavine.jpgThere’s been a lot said about Tom Glavine’s return to Atlanta, but I think this passage, from AJC baseball writer David O’Brien’s story, best sums it up:

Glavine joins Smoltz and Hudson to give the Braves what could be the National League’s most accomplished starting trio. Wren and Cox also are optimistic about lefty Mike Hampton, who has missed two seasons recovering from elbow surgeries.

Hampton is scheduled to make his first start in the Mexican Winter League on Thursday. He would give the Braves four former 20-game winners, though none has hit that standard since 2000, when Hudson went 20-6 for Oakland and Glavine 21-9 for the Braves.

Four 20-game winners. That’s great. But 2000 was a long time ago. You know who else won 20 games in 2000? Daryl Kile. So that’s not a good example. But you know who won 19 games that season? Randy Johnson. What’s he up to these day? Maybe he could pitch for the Braves?

On ESPN News, Keith Law said Atlanta went with sentiment over sound baseball judgement. He said Glavine showed this season that he has “very little left in the tank”. He said “shame on the Braves for guaranteeing so much money” and that they had “probably wasted a good chunk of that money.”

What do you think? Will the Braves be buoyed by experience, or just old?

11 Responses to “Braves pitchers so very, very old.”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Wow. I didn’t even think about the potential Proctor-Torre reunion until this. Well done, Nick.

  2. Nick,
    You are probably right with your thinking that the Dodgers’ money could be better spent than on Joe Torre. Don’t the Dodgers have plenty of money to spend on a better manager as well as the rest of their ball club? If not Torre then who?

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    melissa, I think paying an extra premium to get a “name” manager is an even worse idea than paying extra for a big-name player.

    I guarantee you there are tons of very capable managers in the minor leagues who can succeed at the major league level. But someone has to give them a shot. How did Joe Torre or any of the other famous managers first get hired?

    I’d rather see the Dodgers try to find the next Joe Torre, whom they could hire for a fraction of the cost, rather than hiring the actual Joe Torre. To me hiring Torre at an exorbitant price just reeks of desperation and a desire to be thought well of by the press and the fans rather than being a smart baseball move.

  4. Third most important job: dealing with management. Torre is quite good at that as well.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Bwahaha. Poor Joe Torre. He may be destined for an early grave if he goes from dealing with crazy George Steinbrenner to dealing with crazy Frank McCourt.

  6. Nick,
    Even if the Dodgers overpaid Torre they still have plenty of money to get whatever players they would want, it’s not an either or proposition. Say they pay him $6 million/year, that won’t limit their payroll. I agree that young managers can come in and do a sufficient job. I think Ozzie Guillen was an example of a young manager that came in and helped an organization get to and win a Series. I also believe that there are veteran managers that are difference makers such as Tony LaRussa, Lou Piniella, and Bobby Cox, all worth “over-paying.” Don’t you think a ball club would be better off bringing in a great manager than a great player such as A-Rod?

  7. Nick Kapur says:


    I completely disagree. I would MUCH rather have A-Rod than Joe Torre. A-Rod was worth 14 extra wins to his team last year above an average third baseman. How many extra wins was Joe Torre worth to his team above an average manager? Maybe 1 or 2, if any.

    Having a good manager is great, but ultimately it’s the players on the field who win or lose. Managers can lose games for their team by making stupid moves, but it’s pretty hard for a manager alone to add a lot of extra wins.

    Sure, Joe Torre won some championships in New York, but he had great, GREAT players. And he still didn’t win 7 out of 12 years. And Joe Torre managed for 14 years in the majors before he came to the Yankees, and didn’t win a thing.

    It all starts with great players. The Dodgers are much more likely to improve their record next season by signing A-Rod and not Joe Torre, than by signing Joe Torre and not A-Rod.

  8. Law’s right. Glavine’s running on fumes. I don’t see why the Braves would give up their #1 pick while paying Glavine $8m to be a #4 or 5 starter. Now I don’t know what the status of Hampton is. If he can go, then a rotation of Hudson, Smoltz, Hampton, James, and Jurrjens is not a bad situation. If Glavine can’t keep the ball in the park pitching at Shea, I can’t imagine he’ll do much better at the Ted.

  9. Look, I like Mike Hampton when he’s on the mound. He’s tough competitor, and he hates to lose. But let’s be real: Ten wins from him would be nothing short of a miracle. I think the Braves’ management would be wise to simply say that the “he is currently rehabbing, we’ll see how he feels in March.” This would help to end the perception that many fans have of the Braves counting on Hampton to return to All-Star form. To count on someone who has been so unreliable healthwise just looks incompetent.

  10. I just don’t understand how, in this market, an $8M contract for a 3rd starter can be considered a bad deal. Glavine isn’t running on fumes. He pitched over 190 innings last year with an ERA in the mid 4s – not Cy Young form, but to say he’s completely run out of gas would be a drastic exaggeration. It’s well worth the investment for the Braves if Glavine can log those innings, retain a mid 4 era, and push Chuck James back to the #4 spot.

    And Paul, it’s not like the Ted is a lauching pad. The place is fucking huge, just like Shea. Why can’t Glavine keep the ball in the park in Atlanta? I think it’s just wishful thinking from a fan whose team successfully completed the biggest collapse in baseball history.

    Go Braves.

  11. Zvee, low blow. Total low blow.

    Never said that the Ted was a launching pad. But it’s not as much a pitcher’s park as Shea is. Even if you disagree with that sentiment (even though all metrics of park factor back me up on this), what makes you think that he’ll do better in Atlanta? The guy’s fastball clocks in in the low 80s now. That’s no exaggeration. Regularly hits 83-84. He allowed career highs in homeruns. He had a WHIP of 1.41. I don’t see how pitching in Atlanta’s going to change this.

    And I never argued that $8m is a bad deal. I have a bigger problem with giving up the #1 draft pick. Glavine’s not a #3 starter anymore. He’s probably a 5, maybe 4. I also have no idea how pushing Chuck James back to the #4 spot is better than him at 3. Does James magically face worse hitters or something if he’s in #4?

    The Mets collapse was big, but it wasn’t the biggest. Know your baseball history, Geffen, and stop riding David O’Brien’s jock. Despite this, the Mets were still four games ahead of Atlanta. So what does that say about the Braves?

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